The NFL Playoff Picture Explained

05/25/2011 12:20 pm ET
  • Ken Levine Emmy-Winning Writer/Director/Producer, MLB Announcer

This is the time of year when the NFL playoff picture gets very muddy. But I have managed to simplify it for you. So, to clear up any confusion...

If Detroit beats San Diego and St. Louis beats Green Bay and Baltimore beats Miami then Indianapolis would have home field advantage but New England would have a bye and Washington would get the first wild card spot unless Carolina beats Seattle and San Diego beats Detroit and then Cleveland would have the first wild card spot while Arizona gets the other and Indianapolis gets a bye but must play their remaining playoff games on the road unless their second round opponent is Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh beats St. Louis next Thursday while Chicago beats Minnesota on Monday.

But if Minnesota wins and Seattle loses by more than 20 points then the Giants would be the first wild card or the second wild card if the Jets lose to New England, in which case Detroit would be the second wild card but in the other division. But if Tampa Bay beats Atlanta then Detroit would move to the AFC and Jacksonville would get their choice of either the AFC, NFC or NBA. And Miami would be eliminated from next year's playoffs, Dallas would have to play all Monday night games on Tuesday, and Kansas City would become Tennessee but only if Buffalo upsets Cleveland and Oakland upsets Indianapolis in which case New England would get two byes, and Cincinnati would lose home field advantage for all home games and New Orleans would get the second wild card spot assuming they don't already have it, in which case the Giants would not have it even though they thought they did and San Francisco would get the first pick in the draft.

I hope that clears it up for you.

You're welcome.

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